Summer Office Attire Gone Awry
By Donna Farrugia, Executive Director of The Creative Group
Summer is upon us – and that means warm weather, company picnics … and fashion faux pas on the job. In fact, four in 10 advertising and marketing executives polled by The Creative Group said employees at their firms are dressing more casually on the job.
While creative teams often have a little more leeway in terms of dress codes compared to their counterparts in the legal or HR departments, for example, you don’t want to abuse this privilege. Presenting a polished image is an easy way to boost your credibility and signal to others you take your job seriously – and perhaps move you one step closer to a potential promotion.
As such, here are five wardrobe offenses to avoid this summer:
1. Sheer clothing. Lace and light-weight fabric may be all the rage right now, but your clothing should never be overly revealing. Also watch out for see-through materials like linen, silk and chiffon.
2. Flip-flops (or Birkenstocks). While open-toed sandals are often OK to wear, foam or plastic flip-flops or well-worn “mandals” are almost never appropriate in office environments.
3. Statement T-shirts. Are you a Twilight fan who’s on “Team Edward”? Or a vegetarian who “Doesn’t Eat Anything That Had Eyes”? Your colleagues and boss may know these personal details, but they certainly don’t need to be reminded of them by your wardrobe. In particular, steer clear of T-shirts that contain political, religious or other controversial messages.
4. Midriff-baring shirts and low-rise pants. No matter how fit you are, avoid showing too much skin at work. Wearing clothes that are extremely form-fitting is another no-no.
5. Acid wash jeans. If you do wear jeans to work, they should be tailored, and not too tight or trendy. Leave your vintage, threadbare 501s or rhinestone-studded flares at home, too.
As a rule, you want to dress to fit in, even though this may go against your creative grain. It’s important to know – and emulate – your company’s general dress code. Ultimately, when it comes to attire, simplicity can be chic. After all, it’s best to bring attention to your ability to do the job well, not your love for oversize hoop earrings or fedora hats.
Donna Farrugia is executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design and marketing professionals with a variety of firms. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at creativegroup.com.